Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to Sync Diet with Exercise

Exercise is for muscle, bodyfat percentage is mainly about diet, walking is for digestion.

I have talked about the division of macronutrients, and about specific foods; now I will address another important - but little-recognized - issue: timing. The conventional concept is to eat as close as possible to the same macronutrient division at every meal, every day. As you will see by the end of this article, that couldn't be more wrong; in fact, it's a nutritional disaster.

Exercise is for Muscle

This does NOT necessarily mean getting "big, bulky muscles"; even if you don't want big muscles, you should still lift weights and/or do endurance exercise. While normal cardio burns more calories while you exercise, the afterburn ends within an hour; whereas, with weight-lifting (can be bodyweight exercises like push-ups, crunches, and squats) your metabolism will be turned up for up to 24 hours afterwards, as your muscles and systems recover.

To keep muscles small, keep reps per set either very low or very high. Lift explosively/never grind out a rep, for strength and for CNS health (hat tip: Christian Thibaudeau).

Bodyfat % is Mainly about Diet

I covered this in the two articles linked above ^, except timing (see below).

Walking Is For Digestion

The human intestines are 25-30 feet long, with many turns; there is no pump to move the food along, so you need to walk for the digestive system to function properly. Also, excretion of solid waste is one of the body's main detoxification pathways; if the food backs up in the digestive system, the toxins back up into all the tissues of the body.

Walking for digestion should be done at low- to medium-intensity. It's not about huffing and puffing to burn calories; that will only increase cortisol, which shuts down the enzymes that turn on your fat-burning hormones, leaving your body to cannibalize muscle. Three hours per week, spread over at least three days (e.g., a half-hour per day six days per week).
 
Everything else “cardio” does, weight-lifting does better.

Frequency

Work out at least two days per week, but never two days in a row (recovery's where you make your gains!).

If two days per week, could be:

  • two full-body workouts
  • upper/lower split
  • push/pull split
  • one full-body, one endurance (walking, hiking, biking, etc.)
  • circuit-training one day, heavy singles the other (my fav!)

If three days per week, could be:

  • two full-body, one endurance
  • one full-body, two endurance
  • upper/lower/endurance
  • push/pull/endurance
  • circuit/singles/endurance

Timing

Aha! The moment you've all been waiting for. The piece de resistance!

Pretty much everyone should carb up pre-w/o; at least 50 g carbs, could easily be 100 or more (depending one your size and what you're going to do).

Everyone should also eat a high-protein diet post-w/o; there is a 4 hour recovery window, but there is also a 24 hour recovery window. Try to get 100 g pro between working out and the end of that day, then another 100 g pro the next day before 24 hours since you started exercising. Your muscles will suck up that pro at a much higher rate than normal in that period. (Those numbers are for an average size man; women probably more like 70 g instead of 100.)

Everyone should significantly reduce pro intake outside of that 24 hour post-w/o window. Once the skeletal muscles have fully or mostly recovered from the w/o, the rate at which they suck up protein goes way down. Outside of that window, you're not gaining muscle anymore; you just need enough pro to maintain your gains. If your intake remains high, most of the "extra" pro can be converted to glucose and burned, thereby preventing the burning of stored bodyfat. (It is this reduction in pro outside the recovery window which brings the average pro per day down to about 20%, as I noted in my macro division article.)

Now, here's where it gets a little bit complicated.

Those who inherited a need for a high carb/low-fat diet should absolutely get carbs with that pro post-w/o; that's no change, as they need a high carb intake pretty much all the time.

However, those who inherited a need for a low-carb/high-fat diet should definitely not get a lot of carbs post-w/o; they should remain low-carb all the time - except for that pre-w/o meal.

Most people - who inherited a need for something close to 40% carbs/40% fat - should basically be front-loading their carbs, and going lower-carb at night. Always HC/LF at breakfast, always LC/HF at dinner. On workout days, HC/LF at lunch; on non-w/o days, LC/HF at lunch.

Intermittent Fasting

The name "intermittent fasting" can be a bit of a misnomer. It doesn't have to be intermittent; it can be on a consistent schedule. It really should be called "frequent, short-term fasting." Never go more than 24 hours without eating (if possible); it's after that mark that most people start to lose muscle. One or two meals on fasting days is highly recommended.

Frequent, short-term fasting's main benefits:

  • gives your digestive system a rest
  • improves insulin sensitivity
  • improves leptin signaling
  • decreases inflammation
  • autophagy

The info on timing of diet, to sync it up with exercise, is very conducive to frequent short-term fasting. As long as you get your pre- and post-w/o nutrition correct, you have a ton of flexibility with what & when to eat - or even not eat!

Mark Sisson has done several good pieces on the health and fitness benefits of fasting, especially the autophagy. Just copy "intermittent fasting" and paste it into the search box on his site.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Signaling: Nutrigenomics Made Easy

Nutrigenomics is one application of the exciting new field of Epigenetics.

Plain English

OK, for the rest of this article, I'm going to speak about science in plain English. I'm not going to talk about GLUT-4, sirtuin, or APO-E. I'm not even going to distinguish between saturated and un-saturated fats (gasp!). The science should be done, and available to all who want to know it. I just think we who understand the science have a responsibility to translate it into plain English, so normal people can take action on it in their own lives. So, instead of the technically-correct term “Nutrigenomics”, let's just call it.. Signaling.

Evolution

It's a fact. I'm not saying we don't have souls (in fact, I believe we do), but science has discovered a lot of interesting stuff, and we can use some of it to make our lives better. Based on findings from the field of Evolutionary Biology, we can identify 4 phases of the human species, nutritionally-speaking: Pre-Hunter-Gatherer, Hunter-Gatherer, Agriculture, and of course, Junk Food.

Pre-Hunter-Gatherer

From before our last common ancestor with our nearest genetic relative, chimpanzees – about 5 million years ago – our ancestors probably ate what was readily available in the forest/jungle, the foods modern chimps get most of their calories from: leaves and fruit (and some bugs – yum!).

Hunter-Gatherer

The Hunter-Gatherer phase began when our ancestors moved onto the plains, and began scavenging; the addition of animal food gave them vitamin B-12, protein, zinc, iron, and omega-3's. These nutrients spurred further evolution of our species, making humans larger, stronger, and smarter. Thus began pack-hunting, enabling the ancestors to target bigger game, from which they got not only more protein, but FAT. (Gathering would have included not only plant foods, but slugs, worms, and shellfish.)

Agriculture

Grains, of course – wheat, oat, rice. Nuts; as Jared Diamond noted in Guns, Germs, and Steel, a culture has to have been farming an annual crop for many years before developing nut-producing trees. Potatoes; actually, all non-leafy vegetables belong in this category. Wild-growing veggies were much less abundant and much tougher to eat; modern veggies are all the result of thousands of years of selective breeding. (Although one could say the same for lettuce and fruit, for signaling purposes they are similar enough to the wild versions; wild fruits even today are bright and sweet.)

Also, all non-leafy vegetables are much healthier cooked than not - to the point that eating non-leafy veggies raw could be considered un-healthy.

Junk Food

Duh. (Note: fruit JUICE is junk food; liquid fruit = liquid sugar.)

This also includes the so-called “vegetable oils”, none of which are even from vegetables (not that it matters): corn oil (corn is a grain), soybean oil, canola (a seed), etc. No human consumed more than trace amounts of these oils – which require industrial tech to extract – before the 20th century.

Signals

The first two were such long periods of human history, millions of years each, those foods – the Leaves and Fruit category, and the Animal Food category – send signals to your DNA which turn on the genes that make your body function properly. Because the latter two are so recent, eating foods from those categories – Agriculture and Junk food – fails to send those signals.

What To Do

Leaves (aka lettuce) and fruit (don't forget the berries): 30% of calories (those who need to eat less carbs/more fat for hormonal reasons can have more of the fruit fats: olive/oil, coconut/oil, and avacado/guacamole). Radicchio, though red on your plate, is green as it grows, and is then blanched to turn it red; so throw some of that in with your romaine. Most fruits are healthier raw than cooked, the exceptions mainly being the nightshade fruits: tomato and bell peppers/capsicum; summer squash (e.g. zucchini) can be eaten raw, but winter squash (e.g. pumpkin) should be cooked. Frozen fruit is great (may even be healthier than “fresh”, which is usually picked before ripe and ripens on the truck on its way to your store); canned acidic fruit is completely unacceptable (acidic food makes the phthalate and BPA leach out of the plastic liner of the can and into the food).

Animal food (fat and pro): 30% of calories. (Animals store pollution in fat cells, so if you can't afford to eat organic all the time, target your organic dollars on animal fat.)

Agriculture: 30% of calories. (Again, if needing to eat LC/HF, you could get cals in this category more from nuts than grains or beans.)

Junk food: up to 10% of calories. Not a requirement, I just don't think it's realistic to expect most Americans to eat zero junk food.


Now we see the mechanism by which the modern diet is wrecking the health of most Americans: by supplying most calories from agriculture and junk food, the body is deprived of the essential signals.

UPDATE April 8 2013



"Eating your greens may be even more important that previously thought, with the discovery that an immune cell population essential for intestinal health could be controlled by leafy greens in your diet. ...
Dr Belz said that the proteins in green leafy (cruciferous) vegetables are known to interact with a cell surface receptor that switches on T-bet, and might play a role in producing these critical immune cells. “Proteins in these leafy greens could be part of the same signalling pathway that is used by T-bet to produce ILCs,” Dr Belz said. “We are very interested in looking at how the products of these vegetables are able to talk to T-bet to make ILCs, which will give us more insight into how the food we eat influences our immune system and gut bacteria.”  
Source: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

UPDATE February 4, 2016
(via Bill Lagakos/CaloriesProper)

Flavan-3-ol fraction from cocoa powder promotes mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle in mice.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Calories vs. Hormones

Yes, calories do matter.. and hormones also matter.

Hormones

Science writer Gary Taubes was interviewing one of the USA's "top docs" when he suddenly realized the doctor did not understand the scientific method. Wondering what evidence the mainstream Medical and Government guidelines for diet and for drug treatment was based on - specifically regarding weight-loss, cholesterol, and heart-disease - Taubes began an investigation which lasted six years.

The result - Good Calories, Bad Calories - was published in 2007; it is hundreds of pages of documentation of the evidence which proves the Lipid Hypothesis FALSE. The Lipid Hypothesis has two main parts:
a) that excess dietary cholesterol is the cause of heart disease (and that, therefore, everyone should avoid foods high in cholesterol)
b) that excess dietary fat is the cause of the Obesity Epidemic (and that, therefore, everyone should eat a low-fat/high-carb diet)

Again, not to put to fine a point on it, the Lipid Hypothesis is false; no-one is free to believe it. It is not a matter of opinion.

Calories


  • Just sitting on your butt eating donuts, you need 10 calories* per pound (of total body weight) just to not lose weight.
  • If moderately active - cardio 2-3 days a week, or cardio 1-2 days + one day of weight-lifting - you will need 12 cals to maintain.
  • If doing endurance exercise or lifting weights 2-3 days per week, you will need 14 cals per day to maintain current weight.
  • To gain weight (hopefully, muscle not fat), one would need to lift weights 2-4 days per week, and get at least 15 cals per day.

*yes, technically it's "kcals", but not everyone has to be a bio-freakin-chemist, IMO


[For anyone who doesn't know: each gram of fat has 9 calories, each g of carb or pro has 4.5 (not the oft-cited 4).] 


The conventional "wisdom" blames the individual for "overeating" (even Dr. Kessler's The End of Overeating - as valid as some of his points are - falls into this trap; it's right there in the title). As Taubes also documents in GCBC, 100% of the increase in calories for the average American from 1970 until now is from two sources: flour (wheat) & sugar. If someone needs to lose "weight" (really, bodyfat percentage), those are the calories to try cutting first.

Both flour and sugar are, of course, carbs, not fat; however, this does not necessarily mean an actual "low-carb" diet is right for everyone (although more than half of all people will need to restrict carbs to less than half of all calories, as I explained in my previous article).

Testimonial

By the time I read GCBC in 2009, I had already tried low-fat, had already gone organic, had already been taking good quality nutritional supplements, and already been walking consistently for many years; I had already been practicing a progressive weight-lifting program for a solid year, and already committed to avoiding "added sugars" for six months. My waist would not go below 40 inches.

After reading GCBC, I simply switched out the sandwiches for salads; I did not reduce fat or protein, only carbs, specifically wheat. I took four inches off my waist in six months, and have kept it off for over two years now. After being fat for 30 years, I am really enjoying being "small."

There are millions of such examples out there. It can work for you too.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Low-Carb or Low-Fat? It Depends..

 How do you know whether to eat a low-carb/"Atkins" diet, or a low-fat/"balanced" diet? If low-carb, how low-carb? If low-fat, how low-fat?

The Problem with Paleo

The problem with the Paleo movement is that evolution did NOT stop 10,000 years ago. [Quick primer on natural selection: “survival of the fittest” does not mean toughest or most cruel, but the combination of inherited qualities that best fits the local environment; if the environment changes a significant amount in a short time, and remains changed, evolution speeds WAY up for a little while, then slows way back down again (this is called “punctuated equilibrium.”).] 

As Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending argue in The 10,000 Year Explosion, agriculture provided both of the necessary ingredients for evolution: the huge increase in population (more food) and the stimulus (different foods = different environment).

However, as Jared Diamond explained in Guns, Germs, and Steel, although wheat farming began about 10,000 years ago, it took agriculture over 4000 years to spread from the Middle East to Northern Europe (the growing season was too short, so they had to develop rye and oats). Agriculture started independently around the same time in Asia, but didn't become widespread in Africa or the Americas until much later. It's not like all humans suddenly switched over to farming in the year 8000 BC. Therefore, we as a species are still adapting to the foods of agriculture, and different people are adapted different amounts (depending on how long their ancestors have been farming).

The Standard, or Gauss-ian, Distribution

Many qualities and characteristics of individual humans are distributed throughout society in such a way that, when plotted on a graph, they form a bell-shaped curve. Some, like height, are inherited. The average male US citizen is 5'10”, and the incidence of lower and higher heights drops away from that center point, with most men being only a few inches different in either direction; of course, there are a few percent on either end of the graph who are more than a few inches shorter or taller. This example is widely recognized.

There is another example which our society has not recognized, but desperately needs to: the distribution of inherited need for different macro-nutrient ratios.

  • The average person needs 40% of calories from carbs, 40% from fat. Most Americans got about 45% carb/40% fat (only leaving 15% for protein) before the obesity epidemic; we now know that protein is better at more like 20% - it's by far the most satieting macronutrient (reduces hunger), and not only are your skeletal muscles made of pro, but all the soft tissues of your body (except brains), and you also need it for enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters. 
  • At one extreme end are people who inherited a need for a ketogenic diet (if you don't get epileptic seizures if you don't eat a ketogenic diet, then you did not inherit a need for a ketogenic diet.)
  • At the other extreme end are those who inherited a need for a vegetarian diet. (There is not any human for whom a vegan diet is the most healthy.)
  • About 1/4 in from the keto end are people who inherited a need for 50% of cals from fat/30% from carb.
  • About 1/4 in from the veg end are people who inherited a need for 50% of cals from carb/30% from fat.

Healthy Fats

The healthy dietary fats for humans are: animal (preferably organic), nut (peanut is not a nut), and fruit (olives/olive oil, coconut/oil, avocado/guacamole). All other dietary fats (“vegetable” oil) must be strictly limited, or eliminated if possible.

The science NEVER supported the “arterycloggingsaturatedfat” BS, which I cover more extensively in my “Calories vs. Hormones” article.

What to Do

IMPORTANT: You are NOT free to choose which division of macros is right for you, and your body will NOT “adapt” to whatever you feed it. You inherited a need for a certain division of macros, and you must discover where on the graph you are, so you can eat the diet that's right for YOU.


Friday, March 02, 2012

Bird Gods, Velikovsky, Serpent Gods, and Plato

There is a 4th dimension of space, making time the 5th dimension, not the 4th. Even A. Einstein - who was neither a genius nor a psychopath, but a semi-smart tool - admitted in a paper he co-authored towards the end of his life that the 4th dimension of space is physically real, not just mathematically useful. So, we have 3D physical beings, 4D physical beings (good and evil ET's/"gods")), and 5D non-physical beings (angels and demons).

I also think 4D can see through time better than we can, but not time-travel; the amount of energy you'd have to put into a macro object to make it go FTL (relative to non-FTL) would dis-integrate that object.

Bird Gods

Humanity had a benevolent relationship with the "Bird Gods" (good 4th D) for many thousands of years. They had a combination of "visiting" and "psychic" relationships w/ our ancestors, until it became more good than harm for us to have them physically on planet w/ us, at which point the Bird Gods set up their home base on a large island surrounded by smaller islands in what is now the Atlantic Ocean (literally, Ocean of Atlantis). This is why there is simultaneously evidence of an advanced civilization 10 KYA and strong and abundant evidence that the human species was in the stone age at the time.

The Velikovskian Event

As Immanuel Velikovsky so presciently deduced, the planet Venus entered our solar system about 1500 BC. As Jim McCanney has more recently described, our solar system is electrically neutral except when the approach of a comet charges the solar capacitor, and its leaving the solar system dis-charges that solar capacitor. 

Venus is even bigger than most comets, and caused "thunderbolts" (inter-planetary lightning, some of which hit the Earth), the planets to change their orbits, and on Earth: earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and meteorites (there may have been a planet where the asteroid belt is now, which was destroyed by the aforementioned interplanetary lightning as a result of Venus entering our system, thus leaving the number of planets at 9; this would have been the source of the much larger number of meteorites hitting the Earth then than before or since). Venus settled into something close to its present orbit around 1250 BC (the year of the Habiru People's "Exodus" from Egypt, where they had not been slaves).

Serpent Gods

This 250 year experience was very traumatic for the whole human species, opening up an opportunity for the "Serpent Gods" (evil 4th D), who had already been here, but w/little influence. They gave the traumatized humans the message, "This happened because you were Bad; we will protect you, and show you how to atone for your sins.. but you have to give us your power." Thus, our ancestors switched over from the benevolent relationship w/ the Bird Gods to a master-slave relationship w/ the Serpent Gods.

[This means that all monuments, documents, myths and art from before 1500 BC were either made by the Bird Gods, or under their influence/direction. All monuments, documents, myths and art since 1250 BC are subject to corruption by the Serpent Gods.]

We will never make this world significantly better unless and until this ancient wound is healed, which requires at least 10% of all humans a) acknowledging that it happened, b) realizing that it was not our fault (billions of stars in this galaxy, billions of galaxies; shit happens), and c) consciously rejecting the master-slave relationship w/ the Serpent Gods, because that "contract" (covenant) has an illegitimate basis, and is therefore invalid.

Plato

Why did Plato place the conversation in which he talks about Atlantis not in his own time, but that of his great-grandfather? Because it was 9 hundred years before 600 BC (i.e., 1500 BC) that the volcano of Santorini exploded, causing the tsunami that destroyed the north shore of Crete, from which the Minoan culture never recovered because of all the other effects of the Velikovskian Event; and it was 9 thousand years before 600 BC (9,600 BC) that the interglacial period we are now in (we are still in the Ice Age that began 25 KYA) began, partially melting the ice sheets and causing the ocean level to rise 300 ft, and submerging Atlantis. So, he was combing 2 facts of history into one myth to tell an essential truth, which he stated explicitly in multiple writings was his modus operandi and his life's work.

UPDATE APRIL 4, 2014 

Tempest Stela of Ahmose: World’s Oldest Weather Report


"A new translation of a 40-line inscription on a 3,500-year-old stone block from Egypt called the Tempest Stela describes rain, darkness and the ‘sky being in storm without cessation, louder than the cries of the masses.’ "

 http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/linguistics/science-tempest-stela-ahmose-worlds-oldest-weather-report-01826.html